A proposed ban on the sale and distribution of turf from September is causing “severe stress” to homeowners, according to an independent TD.

Despite Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar claiming that the proposal was “paused”, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan is planning to push ahead with the controversial move.

The minister has said that the measure is needed reduce the air pollution associated with burning peat.

However, the ban will not apply to turf cutting or burning by people with turbary rights for use in their own homes.

Turf sale ban

Independent TD Sean Canney has slammed the proposed ban stating that it is “unworkable”.

“We have hundreds of thousands of homeowners who rely on buying the trailer of turf for heating their homes. We have many householders who purchase turf on the spread, save it themselves and bring it home.

“There is no alternative in place to heat their homes, provide hot water and heat ranges for cooking meals.

“Many of these homes are local authority houses and the local authority will need at least a 20-year time frame to install alternative heating systems,” the Galway TD stated.

Canney said that many people cannot afford the cost of installing a heat pump despite grant aid from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

“I believe that the government are again bringing in a regulation which is too blunt an instrument and leaves no time for alternative heating systems to be installed.

“If people cannot burn turf, they will have to source imported peat briquettes which we have stopped manufacturing in this country,” he added

Canney called on all like-minded TDs to defend homeowners and consign the proposed ban to the rubbish bin.

“We do not have the capacity to replace all solid fuel heating systems in the next 12 months and the supply of heat pumps is not there to match the numbers that will be required.

“This proposal is ill-conceived, not thought out and is causing severe stress to homeowners who fear that they will not have heat, hot water or cooking facilities if this regulation proceeds,” the TD concluded.